Manmohan likely to drop Maran in cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is working on a reshuffle of the union cabinet with the possible sacking of scam-tainted textile minister Dayanidhi Maran. The decision is reported to have been arrived at during a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in New Delhi on Friday.
Reports citing Congress party sources said two other ministers - minister for highways C P Joshi and power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde - are also in the line of fire, probably for non-performance.

Young leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia stands to gain as the party proposes to promote youth in the face of rising criticism of the prime minister going soft on scam-tainted ministers despite court proceeding against them.

Textile minister Dayanidhi Maran, who is in the centre of a controversy over initiating illegal dealings in the allocation of radio spectrum for second generation (2G) telecom services, is most likely to be axed from the cabinet, reports said.

It is widely expected that the telecom ministry will remain with Congress while Trinamool will continue to retain the railways portfolio.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi are expected to meet on Sunday to decide on the new ministers.

Maran, who held the telecom portfolio between 2004 and 2007, has been charged with misusing his position in selectively distributing 2G spectrum licences to telecom bidders in 2006.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is expected to seek clarification from Maran on allegations by entrepreneur C Sivasankaran that Maran had coerced him into selling his company Aircel to Malaysian telco Maxis.

Maran is the third DMK member in the UPA alliance under scrutiny after KB Kanimozhi (MP) and former telecom minister A Raja were arrested for their alleged role in the 2G scam.